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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    February 13, 2013
    1:00 - 6:00am EST  

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his mother was a maid and his dad was a handyman. but you guys don't know in florida that he the guy just this week went to prison. he is cuban. to south's go carolina on our democrats line. the biggest message you took away? caller: what president obama was talking about -- what is he going to do for people like me who do not have the money to pay for healthcare? how are we going to have insurance? how will we pay the bills?
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how will we go to the dr. and get it taken care of? host: president obama will be in the south, georgia, north carolina, what do you want to hear next? caller: i want to hear about the reform. what can he do for me as far as that. how can he help me get me some insurance so i can take care of my bill? host: eastern pennsylvania, republican line, welcome. caller: i would like to just say that president obama can talk the talk, but can he really walk the walk? host: in what sense? go ahead and turned on your tv while you are talking to us. what do you want to see him do next? caller: i would like to see him follow through on health care for medicare and senior citizens and all the people who cannot afford insurance.
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and insurance is increasing dramatically for normal middle- class people. they will be losing their jobs the cows of the factor that these companies are cutting back, and it is very depressing. host: what did you think about senator rubio's speech? you are a republican. we heard from a prior floridian she was not a fan. what did you think of the content? caller: i thought he was trying to be very honest with the people and trying to tell them basically how he felt, that it really was going to be for the middle class people and how it was going to effect all the middle class people. host: independent line, new york. caller: how are you? host: good, thanks. we heard about immigration. what did you make of the immigration comments? caller: i think that it is about
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time. as far as i know, he has pretty much sealed the border, which is what the republicans are hinging everything else on. that has been done. i do not see how much more can be done on that. i think that we need a path to citizenship. i think there needs to be some sort of clear way to come in and work and get green cards and everything else. it is not. we are a sophisticated country in 2013 and we cannot figure it out. it is ridiculous. what i found just amazing was it seemed like senator rubio was, again, as republicans tend to do, they talk about a fictional obama. he was not so much responding to
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what the president said but was always trying to put forth this alternate reality obama. for instance, the president put forth these proposals that he said clearly were deficit neutral. these investments such as in early education, and he talked about closing corporate loopholes. i was shocked to see rubio say, you heard the president say we would ring in more taxes and, he complained about accusations. it was crazy. he was complaining the president was accusing them and blaming them, which i did not get at all. it is interesting. i found myself thinking back on the m.d. chair thing. they are always talking about they see what no one else seems to see. host: colorado is up.
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dorothy is a republican. ,aller: we are just, let's see west of denver, southwest i believe. first of all, i want to make a comment how i appreciate michelle, what she was doing for the young people in her first term, helping children to lose weight. i thought that was a wonderful things she was doing. also when she was on dr. oz and had a lot to offer. she was even jumping rope. host: do you watch to the first lady brings as a guest guest, who the president things, and who members of congress choose to invite? caller: i do not always get to watch tv, but i have watched this closely on c-span.
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i think leon panetta has been a wonderful man, and also i think, you know, john kerry -- i listened to his, everything he said. thank god, he is a good man, he will be in a good position. anyway, but michelle has been a wonderful thing. i think their two beautiful children, i pray for them every day that god will keep them safe and give them a long and healthy life, protect them. also, i am not against barack obama. a lot of things he is doing correct. i do pray for his safety. the bible says to pray for those who are in authority. i am a believer in the bible. i know that god is watching over our country. i believe in the two-party system. in fact, i appreciate the independence i have heard on tv today and also joe lieberman, an independent in the state of connecticut. he is a wonderful man.
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so, i am not stuck on just being a republican. my parents raised us that way, but they were pretty independent toward others. we believe in loving one another. host: let's take a listen to one of the issues president obama spent time talking about tonight. immigration, from the state of the union address. >> real reform means stronger border security. we can build on the progress my administration has already made , putting more boots on the southern border than any time in our history and reducing illegal crossings to the lowest levels in 40 years. real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship, a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning english, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally. [applause] and, real reform means fixing
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the illegal immigration system to cut waiting periods and attract highly skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy. [applause] in other words, we know what needs to be done. as we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and i applaud their efforts. let's get this done. send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months and i will sign it right away and america will be better for it. host: president obama on immigration. you are looking at a live shot of the us capitol building. we are getting your responses to the state of the union. also, senator rubio's response.
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up next, akron ohio, emma kratz. caller: thank you. i was very pleased with thes speech. it was wonderful. i really agree with a lot of what he has to say. i know people don't, and that is why the country is the way it is. everybody has their own opinion. but rubio -- i have a hard time talking. he was so against everything. you could tell, he is tea party.
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he is ready to go against everything that the president would like to help the country. host: there was a tea party response delivered by senator rand paul of kentucky. you can see the full footage on our website, c-span.org. also, the full state of the union address and senator rubio's response is there as well. joel, independent color. caller: how are you tonight? host: fine. what did you make of what you saw? caller: unlike your past 20 colors, i do not think very highly of president obama's speech tonight. i truly want to vomit whenever he talks. it is just cold words for more spending.
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he talked to the lowbrow, uneducated viewer tonight. the things he does give specifics on, like wanting an up or down vote on something that is clearly unconstitutional like the gun control measure, is a way of pandering to society. host: what did you make of senator rubio's address? caller: he is an up-and-coming star, but as your past callers have said, he did not connect. i thought he was respectful, and he is exactly what the country needs. if somebody is a republican who can speak directly to the people and convince people -- republicans are not against the middle class. they are the party that is for the middle class. president obama's ideas of punishing america with taxes --
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they are so uneducated, i cannot believe people fall for it. it is truly disturbing listening to people praise. you have heard people call on the republican line praising obama. i wish you would get a call from -- when you get a call from a republican -- host: you are an independent. caller: libertarian. host: thank you for calling on the other's line. do you usually vote republican? caller: tea party libertarian types of voters -- if i have a shot i will vote for a conservative or libertarian when offered one. host: brooklyn, democratic caller, high. caller: whether we are talking about climate change or gun
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control, i appreciate the president's emphasis on the rights and interest of young people who are not able to vote yet. on that score the president might break the logjam of rhetorical battle between democrats and republicans on the question of debt. if they focus in on the fact that so much of the debt the republicans are unwilling to pay for is being imposed upon voters who turn 18 and never had a say in creating that that, and if they would agree that voters only bear the debt service for the part of the debt they were old enough to vote to pass, than older generations would have to assume a greater portion of the debt service for the debt already accumulated, taking a load off the backs of young people and forcing the republicans to get more realistic about their responsibilities for the debt burden they are creating through responsible tax -- the
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responsible tax cuts. i think obama opts to focus in on that kind of an issue. age progressive taxation. taxation that really reflects your responsibility for the part of the debt you accrued by voting in congressman who allowed that to accumulate. debt that is built up up to build things that are useful to young generations, that would be something else. the key debt to build a new house. but the debt accumulated simply to pass on the costs of current expenses onto future generations should should not be constitutionally allowed. host: followers on twitter are sharing their thoughts, tracking the #state of the union. you can see that on the bottom of your screen. here are some on the state of the union fee. em is writing about minimum wage -- that is the big story. thomas says solar power is what
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he took away from the speech. do not let the state of the union become only a memory tomorrow. commit to a solar future. followers on twitter are picking up what they saw in tonight's speech. richmond, texas -- what is your take? caller: i am a republican and i really love the speech. especially the minimum wage, how great it would be to tie it. host: did you vote for president obama or governor romney? caller: i did not. i voted for ron paul. in both elections. host: what else stood out for you? anything in senator rubio's address? caller: no. the only thing that really stood out to me was talking about the tax code reform. he addressed that in 2008, and
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i would really like to see that happen. that is my biggest disappointment. host: we will be bringing you more about the state of the union tomorrow morning on c- span's "washington journal." we will show some experts highlights and get your calls and responses. also members of congress, what they think about president obama's speech and senator rubio's gop response. we will now go to a replay of the state of the union address. also, senator rubio's official gop response. you can find this all on our website, c-span.org. [captioning performed bynational captioning institute][captions copyright nationalcable satellite corp. 2013]mr. speaker, the president of the united states. [applause]
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>> thank you. [applause]>> members of congress, i had the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the president of united dates. [applause] >> thank you. [applause]
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>> mr. speaker, mr. vice president, members of congress, fellow citizens -- fifty-one years ago, john f. kennedy declared to this chamber that "the constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress." [applause] "it is my task," he said, "to report the state of the union -- to improve it is the task of us all." tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the american people, there is much progress to report. after a decade of grinding war,
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our brave men and women in uniform are coming home. [applause] after years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. we buy more american cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in twenty. [applause] our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before.
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[applause] together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger. [applause] but we gather here knowing that there are millions of americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. our economy is adding jobs -- but too many people still can't find full-time employment. corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs -- but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged. it is our generation's task, then, to reignite the true engine of america's economic growth -- a rising, thriving middle class.
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it is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country -- the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love. it is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few, that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation. [applause] the american people don't expect government to solve every
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problem. they don't expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. but they do expect us to put the nation's interests before party. [applause] they do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can. for they know that america moves forward only when we do so together, and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all. our work must begin by making some basic decisions about our budget -- decisions that will
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have a huge impact on the strength of our recovery. over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion -- mostly through spending cuts, but also by raising tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of americans. as a result, we are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances. now we need to finish the job. and the question is, how? in 2011, congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn't agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars' worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year. these sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. they'd devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical
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research. they would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. that's why democrats, republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in washington as the sequester, are a really bad idea. now, some in this congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training, medicare and social security benefits. that idea is even worse. yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging
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population. and those of us who care deeply about programs like medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms -- otherwise, our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children, and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations. but we can't ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and most powerful. [applause] we won't grow the middle class simply by shifting the cost of health care or college onto families that are already struggling, or by forcing communities to lay off more teachers, cops, and firefighters. most americans -- democrats, republicans, and independents -- understand that we can't just cut our way to prosperity.
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they know that broad-based economic growth requires a balanced approach to deficit reduction, with spending cuts and revenue, and with everybody doing their fair share. and that's the approach i offer tonight. on medicare, i'm prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan simpson-bowles commission. [applause] already, the affordable care act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs. the reforms i'm proposing go even further. we'll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors. [applause] we'll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for medicare, because our medical bills shouldn't be based on the number of tests ordered
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or days spent in the hospital -- they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive. [applause] and i am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they don't violate the guarantee of a secure retirement. our government shouldn't make promises we cannot keep -- but we must keep the promises we've already made. [applause] to hit the rest of our deficit reduction target, we should do what leaders in both parties have already suggested, and save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected.
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after all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks? how is that fair? how does that promote growth? now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit. [applause] the american people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms, and more time expanding and
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hiring, a tax code that ensures billionaires with high-powered accountants can't pay a lower rate than their hard-working secretaries, a tax code that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas, and lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs right here in america.[applause] that's what tax reform can deliver. that's what we can do together. i realize that tax reform and entitlement reform won't be easy. the politics will be hard for both sides. none of us will get 100% of what we want. but the alternative will cost us jobs, hurt our economy, and visit hardship on millions of hardworking americans.
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so let's set party interests aside, and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. and let's do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors. [applause] the greatest nation on earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. [applause] let's agree, right here, right now, to keep the people's government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the united states of america. [applause]
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the american people have worked too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one crisis to see their elected officials cause another. now, most of us agree that a plan to reduce the deficit must be part of our agenda. but let's be clear -- deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan.[applause] a growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs -- that must be the north star that guides our efforts. [applause] every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation -- how do we attract more jobs to our shores? how do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? and how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?
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a year and a half ago, i put forward an american jobs act that independent economists said would create more than one million new jobs. i thank the last congress for passing some of that agenda, and i urge this congress to pass the rest. tonight, i'll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. let me repeat -- nothing i'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. it's not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth. [applause] our first priority is making america a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.
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after shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. caterpillar is bringing jobs back from japan. ford is bringing jobs back from mexico.apple will start making macs in america again. there are things we can do, right now, to accelerate this trend. last year, we created our first manufacturing innovation institute in youngstown, ohio. a once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3d printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. there's no reason this can't happen in other towns. so tonight, i'm announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs, where businesses will partner with the departments of defense and energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech
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jobs. and i ask this congress to help create a network of fifteen of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is made in america. [applause] if we want to make the best products, we also have to invest in the best ideas. every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy. today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to alzheimer's, developing drugs to regenerate damaged organs, devising new material to make batteries ten times more powerful.
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now is not the time to gut these job-creating investments in science and innovation. now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the space race. [applause] and today, no area holds more promise than our investments in american energy. after years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. we produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. we have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar -- with tens of thousands of good, american jobs to show for it. we produce more natural gas than ever before -- and nearly everyone's energy bill is lower because of it.
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and over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen. but for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. [applause] yes, it's true that no single event makes a trend. but the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods -- all are now more frequent and intense. we can choose to believe that superstorm sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and
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the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science -- and act before it's too late. [applause] the good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. i urge this congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one john mccain and joe lieberman worked on together a few years ago. but if congress won't act soon to protect future generations, i will. [applause] i will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.
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four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. we've begun to change that. last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in america. so let's generate even more. solar energy gets cheaper by the year -- so let's drive costs down even further. as long as countries like china keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we. in the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. that's why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. [applause] but i also want to work with this congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and water. indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own
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together. so tonight, i propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an energy security trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. if a non-partisan coalition of ceos and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. let's take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we've put up with for far too long. i'm also issuing a new goal for america -- let's cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years. the states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive
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federal support to help make it happen. america's energy sector is just one part of an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair. ask any ceo where they'd rather locate and hire -- a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high-speed rail and internet, high-tech schools and self-healing power grids. the ceo of siemens america -- a company that brought hundreds of new jobs to north carolina -- has said that if we upgrade our infrastructure, they'll bring even more jobs. and i know that you want these job-creating projects in your districts. i've seen you all at the ribbon- cuttings. tonight, i propose a "fix-it- first" program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country.
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[applause] and to make sure taxpayers don't shoulder the whole burden, i'm also proposing a partnership to rebuild america that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most -- modern ports to move our goods, modern pipelines to withstand a storm, modern schools worthy of our children. let's prove that there is no better place to do business than the united states of america. and let's start right away. part of our rebuilding effort must also involve our housing sector. today, our housing market is finally healing from the collapse of 2007. home prices are rising at the
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fastest pace in six years, home purchases are up nearly 50 percent, and construction is expanding again. but even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, too many families with solid credit who want to buy a home are being rejected. too many families who have never missed a payment and want to refinance are being told no. that's holding our entire economy back, and we need to fix it. right now, there's a bill in this congress that would give every responsible homeowner in america the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today's rates. democrats and republicans have supported it before. what are we waiting for? take a vote, and send me that bill. [applause] right now, overlapping
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regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home. what's holding us back? let's streamline the process, and help our economy grow. these initiatives in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, and housing will help entrepreneurs and small business owners expand and create new jobs. but none of it will matter unless we also equip our citizens with the skills and training to fill those jobs. [applause] and that has to start at the earliest possible age. study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. but today, fewer than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a
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high-quality preschool program. most middle-class parents can't afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool. and for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives. tonight, i propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in america. [applause] every dollar we invest in high- quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime.
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in states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like georgia or oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own. so let's do what works, and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. let's give our kids that chance. [applause] let's also make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. right now, countries like germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges, so that they're ready for a job.
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at schools like p-tech in brooklyn, a collaboration between new york public schools, the city university of new york, and ibm, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree in computers or engineering. we need to give every american student opportunities like this. [applause] four years ago, we started race to the top -- a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards, for about 1 percent of what we spend on education each year. tonight, i'm announcing a new challenge to redesign america's high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. we'll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology,
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engineering, and math -- the skills today's employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future. now, even with better high schools, most young people will need some higher education. it's a simple fact -- the more education you have, the more likely you are to have a job and work your way into the middle class. but today, skyrocketing costs price way too many young people out of a higher education, or saddle them with unsustainable debt. through tax credits, grants, and better loans, we have made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. but taxpayers cannot continue to subsidize the soaring cost of higher education. colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it's our job to make sure they do. [applause]
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tonight, i ask congress to change the higher education act, so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid. [applause] and tomorrow, my administration will release a new "college scorecard" that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria -- where you can get the most bang for your educational buck. to grow our middle class, our citizens must have access to the education and training that today's jobs require. but we also have to make sure that america remains a place where everyone who's willing to work hard has the chance to get ahead. our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants.
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and right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform. [applause] real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my administration has already made -- putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history, and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years. real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship -- a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning
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english, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally. [applause] and real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy. [applause] in other words, we know what needs to be done. as we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and i applaud their efforts. now let's get this done. send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and i will sign it right away. [applause]
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but we can't stop there. we know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence. today, the senate passed the violence against women act that joe biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago. i urge the house to do the same. [applause] good job, joe. and i ask this congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the paycheck fairness act this year. [applause]
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we know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day's work with honest wages. but today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. even with the tax relief we've put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. that's wrong. that's why, since the last time this congress raised the minimum wage, nineteen states have chosen to bump theirs even higher. tonight, let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour.
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[applause] this single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families. it could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank, rent or eviction, scraping by or finally getting ahead. for businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets. in fact, working folks shouldn't have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up while ceo pay has never been higher. so here's an idea that governor romney and i actually agreed on last year -- let's tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on. [applause]
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tonight, let's also recognize that there are communities in this country where no matter how hard you work, it's virtually impossible to get ahead. factory towns decimated from years of plants packing up. inescapable pockets of poverty, urban and rural, where young adults are still fighting for their first job. america is not a place where chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny. and that is why we need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them. let's offer incentives to companies that hire americans who've got what it takes to fill that job opening, but have been out of work so long that no one will give them a chance. let's put people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in run- down neighborhoods. and this year, my administration will begin to partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in america to get these communities back on their feet. we'll work with local leaders to
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target resources at public safety, education, and housing. we'll give new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest. and we'll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples, and doing more to encourage fatherhood. because what makes you a man isn't the ability to conceive a child -- it's having the courage to raise one. [applause] stronger families. stronger communities. a stronger america. it is this kind of prosperity -- broad, shared, and built on a thriving middle class -- that has always been the source of our progress at home.
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it is also the foundation of our power and influence throughout the world. tonight, we stand united in saluting the troops and civilians who sacrifice every day to protect us. because of them, we can say with confidence that america will complete its mission in afghanistan, and achieve our objective of defeating the core of al qaeda. already, we have brought home 33,000 of our brave servicemen and women. this spring, our forces will move into a support role, while afghan security forces take the lead. tonight, i can announce that
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over the next year, another 34,000 american troops will come home from afghanistan. this drawdown will continue. and by the end of next year, our war in afghanistan will be over. beyond 2014, america's commitment to a unified and sovereign afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change. we are negotiating an agreement with the afghan government that focuses on two missions -- training and equipping afghan forces so that the country does not again slip into chaos, and counter-terrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al qaeda and their affiliates. today, the organization that attacked us on 9/11 is a shadow of its former self.
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different al qaeda affiliates and extremist groups have emerged -- from the arabian peninsula to africa. the threat these groups pose is evolving. but to meet this threat, we don't need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad, or occupy other nations. instead, we will need to help countries like yemen, libya, and somalia provide for their own security, and help allies who take the fight to terrorists, as we have in mali. and, where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to americans. as we do, we must enlist our values in the fight.
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that is why my administration has worked tirelessly to forge a durable legal and policy framework to guide our counterterrorism operations. throughout, we have kept congress fully informed of our efforts. i recognize that in our democracy, no one should just take my word that we're doing things the right way. so, in the months ahead, i will continue to engage with congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention, and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the american people and to the world. of course, our challenges don't end with al qaeda. america will continue to lead the effort to prevent the spread of the world's most dangerous weapons.
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the regime in north korea must know that they will only achieve security and prosperity by meeting their international obligations. provocations of the sort we saw last night will only isolate them further, as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense, and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats. likewise, the leaders of iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations, and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon. at the same time, we will engage russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals, and continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands -- because our ability to influence others depends on our willingness to lead.
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america must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. we know hackers steal people's identities and infiltrate private e-mail. we know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems. we cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy. that's why, earlier today, i signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy.
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now, congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks. even as we protect our people, we should remember that today's world presents not only dangers, but opportunities. to boost american exports, support american jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a trans-pacific partnership. and tonight, i am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment partnership with the european union -- because trade that is free and fair across the atlantic supports millions of good-paying american jobs.
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we also know that progress in the most impoverished parts of our world enriches us all. in many places, people live on little more than a dollar a day. so the united states will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades -- by connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women, by giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve and helping communities to feed, power, and educate themselves, by saving the world's children from preventable deaths, and by realizing the promise of an aids-free generation.
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above all, america must remain a beacon to all who seek freedom during this period of historic change. i saw the power of hope last year in rangoon -- when aung san suu kyi welcomed an american president into the home where she had been imprisoned for years. when thousands of burmese lined the streets, waving american flags, including a man who said, "there is justice and law in the united states -- i want our country to be like that." in defense of freedom, we will remain the anchor of strong alliances from the americas to africa, from europe to asia. in the middle east, we will stand with citizens as they demand their universal rights, and support stable transitions to democracy.
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the process will be messy, and we cannot presume to dictate the course of change in countries like egypt, but we can -- and will -- insist on respect for the fundamental rights of all people. we will keep the pressure on a syrian regime that has murdered its own people, and support opposition leaders that respect the rights of every syrian. and we will stand steadfast with israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace. these are the messages i will deliver when i travel to the middle east next month.
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all this work depends on the courage and sacrifice of those who serve in dangerous places at great personal risk -- our diplomats, our intelligence officers, and the men and women of the united states armed forces. as long as i'm commander-in- chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad, and we will maintain the best military in the world. we will invest in new capabilities, even as we reduce waste and wartime spending. we will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families -- gay and straight.
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we will draw upon the courage and skills of our sisters and daughters, because women have proven under fire that they are ready for combat. we will keep faith with our veterans -- investing in world- class care, including mental health care, for our wounded warriors, supporting our military families, and giving our veterans the benefits, education, and job opportunities they have earned. and i want to thank my wife michelle and dr. jill biden for their continued dedication to serving our military families as well as they serve us. thank you, honey. thank you, jill.
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but defending our freedom is not the job of our military alone. we must all do our part to make sure our god-given rights are protected here at home. that includes our most fundamental right as citizens -- the right to vote. when any americans -- no matter where they live or what their party -- are denied that right simply because they can't wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals.
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that's why, tonight, i'm announcing a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in america. and i'm asking two long-time experts in the field, who've recently served as the top attorneys for my campaign and for governor romney's campaign, to lead it. we can fix this, and we will. the american people demand it. and so does our democracy. of course, what i've said tonight matters little if we don't come together to protect our most precious resource -- our children.
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it has been two months since newtown. i know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. but this time is different. overwhelming majorities of americans -- americans who believe in the 2nd amendment -- have come together around commonsense reform -- like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned.
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each of these proposals deserves a vote in congress. if you want to vote no, that's your choice. but these proposals deserve a vote. because in the two months since newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun. one of those we lost was a young girl named hadiya pendleton. she was 15 years old.
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she loved fig newtons and lip gloss. she was a majorette. she was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. just three weeks ago, she was here, in washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. and a week later, she was shot and killed in a chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house. hadiya's parents, nate and cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. they deserve a vote.
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gabby giffords deserves a vote. the families of newtown deserve a vote. the families of aurora deserve a vote. the families of oak creek, and tucson, and blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence -- they deserve a simple vote. our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges i've outlined tonight.
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but we were never sent here to be perfect. we were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self- government. we were sent here to look out for our fellow americans the same way they look out for one another, every single day, usually without fanfare, all across this country.
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we should follow their example. we should follow the example of a new york city nurse named menchu sanchez. when hurricane sandy plunged her hospital into darkness, her thoughts were not with how her own home was faring -- they were with the twenty precious newborns in her care and the rescue plan she devised that kept them all safe. we should follow the example of a north miami woman named desiline victor. when she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours. and as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say. hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her. because desiline is 102 years old. and they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read "i voted."
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we should follow the example of a police officer named brian murphy. when a gunman opened fire on a sikh temple in wisconsin, and brian was the first to arrive, he did not consider his own safety. he fought back until help arrived, and ordered his fellow officers to protect the safety of the americans worshiping inside -- even as he lay bleeding from twelve bullet wounds. when asked how he did that, brian said, "that's just the way we're made."
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that's just the way we're made. we may do different jobs, and wear different uniforms, and hold different views than the person beside us. but as americans, we all share the same proud title -- we are citizens. it's a word that doesn't just describe our nationality or legal status. it describes the way we're made. it describes what we believe. it captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations, that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others, and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these united states, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our american story. thank you, god bless you, and god bless the united states of america.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> some a term marco rubio did
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the republican response to the state of the union -- senate term marco rubio did the republican response to the state of the union. you can find the spanish version on our web site, c-span.org. >> good evening, i'm marco rubio. i'm blessed to represent florida in the united states senate. let me begin with congratulating president obama on his second term. i have the honor of responding to the state of the union address on behalf of my fellow relationships. i have the special privilege lidge to address our troops from arled the world. -- troops from around the world. the state of the union address is a reminder on how the unique the american history it is. because we believe that every life at every stage is precious and that every one everywhere has a
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god-given right to go as far as their atlantaed -- talents will take them. this idea is personal. my parents immigrated here to improve their life and to give their children a better one. my dad worked as a bar tenor -- bartender and my mother as a maid. i did not inherit any money from them but i inherited something better. an opportunity to make it to the middle class and beyond no matter where you start off in life. it comes from a free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. when they suck they hire more people who -- success they hire more people. presidents in both parties from john f. kennedy to ronald reagan
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have known that our economy is the source of our middle class prosperity. but president obama, he believes it is the cause of our problems. that the economic down tun happened because the government did not tax enough, spend enough, or control enough. as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for washington to tax more, borrow more, and spend more. this idea that our problems were caused by the government that was too small, it is not true. in fact, the major cause of our recent downturn was the housing crisis created by the government policies. the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help middle-class taxpayers is an old idea that has failed. it will not help you get you ahead it will hold you back.
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it will limit your opportunities and more government isn't going inspirnse more idea, new businesses, it's going to create uncertainty. more government breeds complicated rules and laws that small businesses can't afford to follow. more government raises taxes on employers who pass the costs on to their employees to fewer hows, lower pay, and even layoffs. many government programs that claim to help the middle class often end up hurting them. obamacare was supposed to help middle class americans afford health care but now some are losing their health care insurance they were happen -- were happy with. they are being forced to lay people off and switch from full time employees to part-time workers. does this mean there is no room for government? of course not. it plays a crucial part in enforcing rules and providing some security against the risks of modern life.
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but governments role is widely limit bid the constitution. -- limited by the constitution. there are valid reasons to be concerned about the plan to grow the government. any time anyone opposes the president's agenda he and his alleys attack their motives. no matter how many laws we pass our government can't control the weather, he accuses us of wanting dirty water and dirty air. when we suggest to strengthen our safety net programs he accuses of wanting us to leave the elderly to defend themselves. he even criticized us to race taxes to delay military cut, cuts that were his idea in the first place. his favorite attack of all, those who don't agree with him only care about rich people. mr. president, i still live in the same neighborhood i grew up.
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my neighbors are not millionaires, they are workers who have to get up tomorrow morning and pay the bills. they are immigrants and they came here because they were stuck in improvement. the tax increases and the deficit spending that you proposed will hurt middle class families. it will cost them their raises, it will cost them their benefits, it will kevin cost some of them their jobs. it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to help them. i want to protect my neighbors. hard working americans who don't need us to come up with a plan to grow the government, they need a plan to grow the middle class. economic growth is the best way to help the middle class. our economy slarching the last few months of 2012.
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if we can get the economy to grow at 4% a year it will create middle class jobs. tax increase can't do this. raising taxes won't create private sector jobs. that's why i hope the president will abandon his obsession with raising taxes and instead, work with us to achieve real growth until our economy. one of the best ways to encourage growth is through our energy industry. god also blessed america with abundant coal and natural gas. instead of wasting more money on companies let's open up federal land for exploration. we can grow our energy industry, it will make us energy independent and it will
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help bring administering back from places like china. simplifying our tax code will also help the middle class because it will make it easier for smaller businesses to hire and grow. we agree with the president, we should lowerer our corporate tax rate so companies will bring their money and jobs back here from overseas. we can also help grow the economy if we have a legal immigration system that allows us to attack the best and brightest. -- attract the best and the brightest. first, we must follow through on the broken promises of the past to secure our borders and enforce our laws. helping the middle class grow also requires an education system that brings the skills that jobs entail. we need to incentivize local
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schools and career training. we need to give all parents, especially the parents with special needs to opportunity to spend their children to the school of their choice. because college tuition costs have grown so fast we need to change the way we pay for higher education. i believe in financial aid. i could not have gob to college without it. it is not about spending more money. it is about strengthening and modernizing them. the 20th century work force should not accept 20th century solutions. they are returning veterans, they are single parents so they can earn a decent wage. they are workers who lost jobs that are never come ch coming back. we need student aid that does not discriminate like online courses or degree programs that give you credit for work experience.
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when i finished school i owed over $100,000 in student loans. today, many graduates face massive student loans. we must give students more information on the cost and benefits on the loans they are taking out. all of these measures are key to helping grow the economy. we won't be able to sustain a vibrant middle class unless we solve the debt problem. every money we borrow does not help create jobs. the president loves to blame the debt on president bush but president obama created more debt in four years than his predecessor did in eight. our government has been spending $1 trillion more than it takes in every year. that is why we need a balanced budget amendment. one of these programs is medicare, especially important to me.
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it provided my father the care he needed to battle cancer and ultimately to die with dignity. it take pays for the care my mother receives right now. i would never support any changes to medicare that would hurt seniors like my mother. republicans have offered a detailed and credible plan to help save medicare without hurting refirees. when is the president going to offer his detailed plan to save it? tonight would have been a good time for him to do it. he faces other challenges as well. we were heartbroken by the tragedy in connecticut. we must be able to fix the violence in our country. our foreign policy, america continues to be indecember pencible to global liberty.
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the world is a better place when america is the strongest nation on it. we can't remain powerful if we don't have an economy that can afford it. nothing has frust rated me more than false choices like the president layed out tonight. the choices are not just between big government and big business. we need an effective government that allows new businesses to create middle class jobs. we don't have to raise taxes to avoid the devastating cuts to our military. republicans have proposed a plan. in other words to balance the budget the choices don't have to be higher tacks. instead we should grow the economy so we create new taxpayers not new taxes.
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so the government will be able to help those who can't help themselves. every problem can't be solved by the government. many are caused by the moral break down in our society. despite our differences i know that republicans and democrats love america. i say we come together to solve our problems. the choices before us could not be more important. if we can get our economy healthy again, our children will be the most prosperous americans ever. if we do not, we will for ever be known as the generation responsible for america's decline. at a time when one showdown after another ends in short-term deals that do little about our problems some believe that our government leaders can't or won't make the right choices anymore. our strength never came from the white house or the capital. it always comes from our people.
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a people united from the american idea that if you have a dream and you're willing to work hard nothing should be impossible. americans have always celebrated an been inspired by those who succeeded. it is the dream that of those who are trying to make it. across this land, parents will hold their newborn children in their arms for the first time. many of these parents -- for many of these parents life has not gone the way they planned. make they were born in circumstances they found it difficult to escape. maybe they are young mothers, all alone, the father long gone. tonight, when they look into the eyes of their children, their lives will change forever. in those eyes, they will see what their parents saw in me and what your parents saw in you. they saw all the hopes and dreams they had for themselves. this dream for a better life of
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their children is the hope of parents everywhere. politicians here and throughout the world have long promised that more government can make those dreams come true. we americanses have always known better. from the earliest days we embraced liberty and because we did america remains one of the few places on earth where dreams like these even have a chance. each time our nation has faced great challenges what has kept us together is a shared lope for a better life. now, let that hope bring us together again. to solve the challenges of our time and we can write the next chapter in the amazing story of the greatest nation a man has ever known. thanks for listening. may god bless all of you. may god bless our president. and may god continue to bless the united states of america. >> republican senator rand paul
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gave the tea party response to the state of the union. the first tea party response two years ago was given by michelle bachmann. >> good evening. i speak to you tonight from washington, d.c. the state of our economy is tenuous but our repeople we did our people are the greatest example of freedom and prosperity in. people say america is exceptional. i agree. but it is not the twists in our dna that makes us unique. we are founded on the notion that anyone is free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. men and women were guaranteed in america a chance to succeed based not on who your parents were put on your own initiative and desire to work. we are in danger of forgetting
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what made us great. the president seems to think the country can continue to borrow $50,000 every second. the president believes if we can squeeze more money out of those who are working, then it will work. the path we are on is not sustainable. this administration is not recognized their actions are endangering the prosperity of this great nation. ronald reagan said government is not the answer to the problem, the government is the problem. tonight the president told the nation he disagrees. president obama belize government is the solution. our government, more taxes, more debt. the american system that rewards hard work is what made america so prosperous. but american need is not robin hood, but adam smith. in the year we won our independence, he described what creates the wealth of nations. he described a limited
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government that did not interfere with individuals and their pursuit of happiness. all that we are, all that the wish to be is now threatened by the notion you can have something for nothing, that you can have your cake and eat it too. that you can spend $1 trillion every year that you do not have. i was elected to the senate in 2010 by people who were read about their country, their kids, and their future -- wo were queried about their country, their kids, and their future. every debate in washington as about how much to increase spending, a little or a lot? how much to increase taxes? the president does a woe is me over the $1.2 trillion questor cut into spending that he endorsed and signed into law. some republicans are joining
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him. the sequestered the thought even a cut in spending. it just slows the rate of growth. even with the sequester, if it goes through, government would grow over $7 trillion over the next decade. only in washington could an increase in $7 trillion in spending over decade because a cut. what is the president's answer? he has added over $6 trillion in new debt and may do well in -- and may do the same in the second term. he takes entitlement reform off the table and wants to squeeze more money out of the private- sector. he says he wants a balanced approach the with the country needs is a balanced budget. washington acted in a way that your family never could. they spend money they do not have. they borrow from future generations than they blame each other for never fixing the problem. i urge you to demand a new course.
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demand washington change their ways or be sent home. to begin with, all we must pass a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. the amendment must include strict tax and spending limitations. liberals complained the budget cannot be balanced. if you cut just one penny from each dollar we currently spend, the budget would balance within six or seven years. the plan has been crafted into a bill that millions of conservatives across the country support. it is often said there's not enough by partisanship up here. that is not true. there is plenty of it. both parties have been guilty of spending too much, of back room deals in which everyone up here when but every taxpayer losers. it is time democrats admit not every dollar spent on domestic programs is sacred and at this time republicans, myself
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included, realize that military spending is not immune to waste and fraud. where would be cut spending? let's start with and all foreign aid to countries that are burning our flag and chanted death to america. the president could begin by stopping selling or giving f- 16's and tanks to islamic radicals in egypt. not only should the sequester stand, many pundits say it is far short, that we need $4 trillion in cuts. if he were to freeze spending, it would be called a $9 trillion. if we don't, we will have our credit rating downgraded. we have to work together or we will never fixed our fiscal mess. bipartisanship is not what is missing in washington. common sense is. trillion dollar deficits hurt us all. printing more money to feed the never ending appetite for spending and it hurts us all to
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read we pay higher prices every time we go to the supermarket or to the gas pump. the value of the dollar shrinks with each new day. contrary to what the president claims, big government and dbet are not a friend to the -- debt are not a friend to the elderly. it zaps the savings of the elderly. it destroys savings. big government makes it more expensive to put food on the table. the government is not your friend. the president offers you free stuff but his policies keep you poor. under president obama, the ranks of america's poor have swelled to almost 1 in 6 people. we are at all-time high in long term employment. -- in long-term unemployment. the cycle must be broken. the willpower to do this will not come from congress. it must come from the american
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people. next month i will propose a five year balanced budget that last year was endorsed by taxpayer groups across the country for its boldness and for actually solving a problem. i will work with anyone on either side of the aisle who wants to cut spending but in recent years, there has been nobody to work with. the president has passed massive tax-spending increases. nobody voted for his budget. not a single democrat. how is that for leadership? and we tried. senate democrats have not even produced a budget in the entire time i have been in office. it is a display of incompetence that illustrate their lack of seriousness. this year, after just raising taxes by billions of dollars, they now say their budget will include more tax hikes for the
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president tonight said he wants to squeeze more money out of folks. we must stand firm. we must say no to any more tax hikes. only through the word taxes, less regulation, and more freedom will the economy begin to grow again. our party is the party of growth, jobs, and prosperity and we will pull the lead on these issues. under the obama economy, 12 million people are out of work. during his first term, 800,000 construction workers lost their jobs and another 800,000 simply gave up looking for work. with my five year budget, millions of jobs would be created by cutting the corporate tax, cutting the corporate income tax and 1/2. by creating a flat personal income tax and by cutting the regulations that are strangling american businesses. the only stimulus ever proven to work is leaving more money in the hands of those who earned it. for those who are struggling,
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and want you to have something infinitely more valuable than a free phone. we want you to have a job and a half way to success. we have a party that embraces hard work and ingenuity. therefore we must be the party that embraces the immigrant who wants to come to america for a better future. we must be the party who sees immigrants as assets, not liabilities. we must be the party that says if you want to work and be in america, we welcome you. for those striving to climb the ladder of success, we must fix our schools. isrica's educational system leaving behind anyone who starts with disadvantages. we have triple spending on education and still we like -- we lag behind much of the world. a great education needs to be available for everyone. this will only happen when we
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allow school choice for everyone, rich or poor, white, brown, or black. let the taxes you pay for education follow each student to the school of their choice. competition has made america the richest nation in history. competition can make our educational system the envy of the world. the status quo traps kids in a crumbling system of hopelessness trade with every child can, like the president's's kids, go to the school of their choice and then the dreams of our children will come true. washington could also use a good dose of transparency, which is why we should fight back against middle -- with ideals that and with massive bills that no one has read. we must continue to fight for legislation that forces congress to meet the bills. at least read the bills. we must continue to object when congress sticks special
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interest writers on bills in the middle of the night. if congress refuses to obey its own rules and pass a budget, i say sweep the place clean. limit their terms and send them home. i have seen the inner sanctum of congress and believe me, there is no monopoly on knowledge there. if they will not listen, and they will not announce the budget, we should limit their terms. with a party that adheres to the constitution. we will not let the liberals tried on the second amendment. we will fight to defend the entire bill of rights from the right to trial by . to the right to be freed from unlawful searches. we will stand up against excessive government power wherever we see it. we cannot and will not allow any president to act as if they are king. we will not let any president use executive orders to impinge
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on the second amendment. we will not tolerate secret lists of american citizens who can be killed without a trial. montescue dold there can be no liberty when the executive and legislative branches are combined. separation of powers is a bedrock principle of our constitution. if necessary, we will take him to court again if he attempts to legislate by executive order. caucused must reassert its authority to protect these rights -- congress must reassert its authority to protect these rights. i will oppose a pieces of power by the executive. congress must stand as a check to the power of the detective and as it was intended, as a voice of the people. the people are asking for us to hear their voices, to fix our
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broken system. to work together, to right our economy and to restore their liberty. let them know that we hear their voices, that we can and must work together, that we must be chart our course towards a better future. america has much greatness left in her. we will try again when we believed in ourselves again, when we regain our respect for our founding documents and balance our budget. when we understand that capitalism and free markets and free individuals are what creates our nation's prosperity. thank you and god bless america.
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lex we have better than 20% unemployment in mesa county. we have to be able to get our people back to work. we won preset. we need to make sure we are having washington create back success. >> why 20%? >> we are developing national -- natural resources. all of these are having challenges from federal regulations. we want to make sure that we get -- our governor pointed out
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we can create those when winds -- win-wins. >> as we get reaction from the members of congress to what the president had to say -- of the 435 seats in congress this year, there are 84 freshman in the class. one of them is represented mac heart rate, democrat of pennsylvania. -- matt cartwright, thi democrat of pennsylvania. >> a lot the urban areas and
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northeastern pennsylvania, highly democratic. it is one that i was very proud to win on november 2. >> first date of the union speech. what was your impression? >> i probably speak for most of my fellow 49 freshmen democrats when i said it was a thrilling moment. to attend the first state of the union address by personal obama -- president obama. what we saw the president do was return to what i think is really a message of hope. something that sets apart the great presidents from the rest of them because the great presidents are carriers of a message of hope. they are the people like frank and eleanor roosevelt hotel us that the only thing to fear is fear itself -- franklin delano ou was about that tells us the
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only thing to fear is fear itself. he gave a specific ways to build up the middle class. to make the middle class as far as it can be, we need to make education a top priority in this country. education is the thing that helps the poorest among us time into the middle class. it is something that that helps the middle class achieve greatness individually. what we saw tonight was president obama -- it was three or four times mention the phrase middle-class, the strength of the american economy. >> what committees to you serve on? >> and natural resources committee and the oversight and government reform committee as well. >> we appreciate your time. a pleasure to meet you.
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>> thank you very much. from pennsylvania, one of the republican leaders, lynn jenkins -- a republican from kansas. you happen to a couple of thiese speeches. how does this wine? what i agreed with him about getting people back to work. in our debt and deficits under control. i disagree with him on how to get there. >> how would you get there? >> the republicans would have had a budget or the last two years. as has passed out of the house.
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we are building our budget that will demonstrate how to do that copper has of -- comprehensive tax reform and global halls to save our safety net programs and our autopilot spending programs. we will balance out in a 10 year window we will have a plan. the president has sent up budgets that no one will go for, members of his own party because they do not balance. we will see if more details are forthcoming after tonight. >> how do you get the attention? how do speed republican leaders -- how does the republican leadership get the attention? works we are standing in the gap, keeping the administration from palm will gating additional revenues, raising taxes higher. -- pulmulgating additional
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revenues, raising taxes higher. we need to get people back to work by progrowth policies, through corporate and individual tax reforms and that kind of things. these tax increases the president proposed are coming for the middle class. we are going to lay out a vision in our budget that will demonstrate a different path. >> what is your role in the leadership? how has that changed your job? >> i am a member of the house ways in -- house ways committee. we have jurisdiction over a lot of the healthcare, medicare, medicaid, social security issues. as vice chair of the republican conference, i am on the leadership table trying to figure out how best to move
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legislation through the house. we look forward to working with the members of the senate so we can find some common ground to govern. the only way things will happen in this congress is it, cracked and republicans worked together. >> >> lynn jenkins of kansas. thank you. you are watching c-span to live coverage, reaction to the president's state of the union speech in statuary hall where the president spoke. some of the issues he talked about -- raising the minimum wage. numeric reforms. tax reform. the cybersecurity order he issued today. he spent about half of the speech talking about the economy. he also brought up voting reform and gun control measures and one other issue he brought a was the
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issue of a new war on poverty. now joining us as one of the 84 new members of congress, tony cárdenas of california, democrat. lucy did you take? what they changed the lines around in california. i put my name for a seat. there was no incompetent. i was able to win outright. i started out as an engineer. i went to owning my own business. i joined the state legislator in california for six years. and on the city council of los angeles for 10. >> what did the president say that resonated with you? he said let us get this done now. we have a one-off opportunity of bipartisan cooperation where republicans and democrats agree we should do something.
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what is due -- let us hope we can work on this bipartisan work and get something comprehensive to the president right away. >> what was the experience like tonight? when did you get your seat? >> i went about an hour and a half early. i got a seat close enough to the aisle where i could shake his hand and say thank you before he went to the podium. >> did the republicans have a chance of working the immigration issue positively? >> they do. i looked over toward the republican side of the room. when it was about immigration reform, a handful more of the public and stood up then the normal amount that stood up. that is a good sign. there is quite a bit of motivation on their side of the aisle. the roads to the presidency and
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the next four years will go -- go through more inclusion of the latino community. the democrats have been working on that vision. hopefully, that will be motivation to get comprehensive immigration reform. we never get to the point where we have 11 million undocumented in this country. we fix the system so thihose stm folks -- we can invite those people who are ready to work and to stimulate our economy. we need to get it done. >> did you listen to senator luby's bonds? course i have not. i have heard senator rubio talk about immigration reform. he has it wrong. he insists let us allow them to become legal here. he is not talking about a true
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path to citizenship. that is not the spirit of our country of having second-class citizens on a permanent basis in this country. we should have a path of citizenship. it should be tough. people need to learn english. they need to get to the back of the line. they have that hope of arriving. >> you represent a district in the l.a. area. what have you heard about the situation out there tonight? >> it appears that they found the person that was terrorizing the southern california committee -- community. i do not know the exact results. it looks like they had him surrounded and may the best of the situation in saving some of the hostages and making sure the knees -- these number of people suffered. quarks did you hear from your constituents about the issue? >> there was a buzz because there was an unnatural and kurds -- ocucureanec.
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ece. it put shows across the community and southern california. it was quite a bit of buzz. >> we have been talking with tony cárdenas of california, democrat. as we continue talking with members of congress, coming up next is a congressman from window, kentucky. ville, kentucky. you happen to this rodeo before. how did this each wind? >>in terms of a very cohesive narrative, this was the best i have seen. it was all within the framework of what the government can properly due to ne -- do to buid
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the middle class. i was excited to hear him talk about refinancing mortgages. it can put $3000 on average into budget,age household's which will help the economy, raise the minimum wage to nine dollars per hour. the emphasis on pre-k education. these are things the government can do it effectively and it is something only the government can do. i was very impressed that he focused on the things that the government can do best, which implies that the government cannot do everything. >> getting his recovery action to be presidents state of the union speech. we appreciate your time this evening. now from the other side of the
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capital, on the senate side, senator bob casey who just won reelection this past year. democrat of pennsylvania. i want to start with your green ribbon. pennsylvania is a pro-second amendment state. >> it is a strong tradition. the ribbons are to commemorate the victims of sandy hook and newtown. we met tonight, but police officers -- we met some of the police officers who were at the scene. despite some of the divisions on gun policy, people can come together. background checks are the most obvious. even folks that strongly support the second amendment say we can combine together.
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quarks as the economic situation in pennsylvania? quarks >> as much as it has been removed, we still have over half a million people out of work. as long as that process, we have to focus on a full recovery. we are creating jobs nationally at a fast-pace. >> what is the energy sector? >> we have tremendous benefits from the attraction of natural gas that has created thousands of jobs in our state and a number of years. it will create tens of thousands of more. we will have the job and energy benefits as well as keeping our commitments to protect clean air and the water. >> how would you describe the sense of the senate? >> it is better now.
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there is still some divisions. we have to try to combine together to focus on the number one challenge, to put them a place more job creation strategies and come on our fiscal challenges. we can. i do not underestimate the difficulties. >> senator bob casey, democrats, pennsylvania. a familiar political name. we appreciate your time. we are in statuary hall, live coverage: be presidents state of the union' speechl. . served as the house meeting place. during that time five presidents were sworn them off them of this room.nrn in in
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from the state of connecticut, central richard blumenthal, former attorney general of the state of pennsylvania. we have to start with newtown. i went to ask you about your pen. >> it is a reminder of the crease and strategy and horrific pain that all of us in connecticut suffered. i was privileged to have as my guest the first black woman from newtown who has been inspirational to all of that community and to the nation with her strength and courage. the president viewed them as
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the face of this tragedy, which is repeated so often that he made the point that the victims deserve a vote. this time is different. that struck a chord. >> what measures have you seen that can change gun violence, reduce the number of illegal guns from the street? quar>> there is no single measue that cures from violence. there is no simple solution. there is no prospect of getting it perfect and preventing ongoing violence. we are not sent here to be perfect. we are sent here to make a difference. there are measures that can and should and would, such as banning assault weapons and
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high-capacity magazines. the shooter in newtown had to change magazines. 11 young people escaped because change magazines. if there are fewer bullets in a magazine, it would stop. the assault weapon nbans, trafficking, criminal background checks. for all firearms sales not just for firearms but also for ammunition sales. >> senator blumenthal, what are your initial thoughts about the cyber security initiative? >> the national security of this nation is integral and deeply involved them of protecting --
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the emma protecting major infrastructure. our stock market as well as our national grid from the kind of a tag that is happening. right now this nation is under attack. is cyber war currently. a bill that i helped draft accession -- last session fails to pass. i hope there will be a law that provides for better defense against the kinds of cyber attacks. quarks we have been talking with connecticut passing of senator richard blumenthal, still in his first term the senior senator. this is live coverage of reaction to the president apostate of the union address in statuary hall.
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state of theent's union address in statuary hall. as we -- as we continue our live coverage, getting reaction from members of congress to the presidents state of the union address. one of the new members defeated a well known number allen west,
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patrick murphy, a democrat from florida. what is your impression? what was the issue that resonated with you? what i am happy with the speech tonight. i liked the part of our mission should work together -- i like the bipartisanship that worked together. i am glad the president talked about that. the overarching theme i like so much is solutions. he said, here is the solution when it comes to things like education. we know we need to prove it. .m.talked about pushing s.t.em. educatonion. poor housing, let us look at a bill that would allow people to -- for housing, let us look at a bill. quarkis a group of problems are recep are willing to adjust the
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problems we have. we will not agree on every issue. there is a certain amount of issues we need to talk about. reducing our national debt. these are issues that we talk about on a daily basis. this is putting aside the partisanship. focusing on what needs to be done. quarks you have been in congress a month and a half. what issue do you think you can work with the republicans on? >> i am here to solve big problems. what we need right now is a grand bargain. right now, we are governing by crisis, sciquest is, fiscal -- scal cliffs.fi i went to look and some of the numbers. he was clear about all of the proposals will not at a time to
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be federal deficit. that is good. i want to see it. i am a cpa by training. >> have you had a chance to chat with allen west? >> i have not heard from him yet. >> congressman murphy, democrat from florida. from congress. 200 hundred 32 republicans, 200 democrats. three seats are open at this point. 84 new members of congress and the house of representatives in the 113th congress. someone who is now in his fifth term from texas, a democrat, congressman green. how did the speech rank with the states of the -- other addresses? >> let me thank c-span for doing
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a great job. i felt compelled to say it. this is a great speech that the president gave. it expressed value. he talked about how education will help us train people for the jobs that are available so they can take advantage of opportunities available. he values our friendships with our allies. he talked about how we will defend israel. he values the notion that children should receive a good start. we want to make sure that head start therefore our children. he values social security, medicare, medicaid. we have to protect him. he values the notion that our troops can do a job and we can
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bring them home. we do not have to have internal wars. he wants our troops home. the way he values jobs was indicated by him talking about infrastructure. we can have bridges and roads repaired. do that in the united states of america. you cannot outsource those jobs. it comes to that things are americans value. >> energy is a big issue in houston. >> he talked about our energy independence and how we have moved away from dependence on foreign oil and other substances that we can generate in our country. we will start to export in the near future natural gas. texas is bouncing. it will bloom again. energy is going to be one of those things that the rest of the country will see that texas has come to the forefront with. >> your governor is touring
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california right now, trying to promote taxes as a place to do business. what do you think? >> texas is a place to do business but we have to get our wages up. we want people to have decent jobs that can give them a living. the president talks about how you should not work full-time in the richest country in the world and live below poverty. in texas, we have too many people who work full-time and stand in the welfare line. we have to change that. we also have the most uninsured in the country. we want to make sure that people have good health care in the richest country in the world where if you are a bank robber and we should capture you, and in the process you are hurt, if you are a person on death row and you are about to meet your
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maker next week and you get sick this week, we will give you comfort and send you to meet your maker next week. andou are a in the -- enemy we will give you aid and comfort. we can give aid and comfort, good health care to hard- working american people. we have to make sure that health care is available to all not because you are wealthy. health care cannot become weal th-care. you have to have health care because you are sick and a child of god. fifth time. in this he represents the houston area. >> last night, president obama gave his fourth state of the union address focusing on the economy. his speech runs an hour.
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>> mr. speaker, the president of the united states. [applause]
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[captioning performed bynational captioning institute] [captions copyright nationalcable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> thank you. thank you. thank you. >> i have the honor of
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presenting to you the president of the united states. >> thank you. thank you. thank you very miuch. so muhch.su thank you. mr. speaker, mr. vice president, members of congress, fellow citizens -- fifty-one years ago, john f. kennedy declared to this chamber that "the constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress."
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"it is my task," he said, "to report the state of the union -- to improve it is the task of us all." tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the american people, there is much progress to report. after a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home. after years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. we buy more american cars than
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we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in twenty. our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before. together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger. but we gather here knowing that there are millions of americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded.a a a
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a our economy is adding jobs -- but too many people still can't find full-time employment.a will corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs -- but fora little more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged. it is our generation's task, then, to reignite the truewill engine of america's economic growth -- a rising, thriving middle class. it is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country -- the idea will will a that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love. a little he is
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a it is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few, that itwas a encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors ofa will opportunity to every child across this great nation.you the american people don't expect government to solve every problem. they don't expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue.as a you but they do expect us to put the nation's interests before party.
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they do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can. for they know that america moves forward only when we do so together, and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all. our work must begin by making some basic decisions about our budget -- decisions that will have a huge impact on the strength of our recovery. over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion -- mostly through spending cuts, but also by raising tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of americans. as a result, we are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances.
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now we need to finish the job. and the question is, how? in 2011, congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn't agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars' worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year. these sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. they'd devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research. they would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. that's why democrats, republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in washington as the sequester, are a really bad idea. now, some in this congress have proposed preventing only the
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defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training, medicare and social security benefits. that idea is even worse. yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging population. and those of us who care deeply about programs like medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms -- otherwise, our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children, and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations. but we can't ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and
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most powerful. we won't grow the middle class simply by shifting the cost of health care or college onto families that are already struggling, or by forcing communities to lay off more teachers, cops, and firefighters. most americans -- democrats, republicans, and independents -- understand that we can't just cut our way to prosperity. they know that broad-based economic growth requires a balanced approach to deficit reduction, with spending cuts and revenue, and with everybody doing their fair share. and that's the approach i offer tonight. on medicare, i'm prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan simpson-bowles commission. already, the affordable care act
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is helping to slow the growth of health care costs. the reforms i'm proposing go even further. we'll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors. we'll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for medicare, because our medical bills shouldn't be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital -- they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive. and i am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they don't violate the guarantee of a secure retirement. our government shouldn't make promises we cannot keep -- but we must keep the promises we've already made.
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to hit the rest of our deficit reduction target, we should do what leaders in both parties have already suggested, and save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected. after all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks? how is that fair? how does that promote growth? now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit.
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the american people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms, and more time expanding and hiring, a tax code that ensures billionaires with high-powered accountants can't pay a lower rate than their hard-working secretaries, a tax code that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas, and lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs right here in america. that's what tax reform can deliver. that's what we can do together. i realize that tax reform and entitlement reform won't be
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easy. the politics will be hard for both sides. none of us will get 100% of what we want. but the alternative will cost us jobs, hurt our economy, and visit hardship on millions of hardworking americans. so let's set party interests aside, and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. and let's do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors. the greatest nation on earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. let's agree, right here, right
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now, to keep the people's government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the united states of america. the american people have worked too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one crisis to see their elected officials cause another. now, most of us agree that a plan to reduce the deficit must be part of our agenda. but let's be clear -- deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. a growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs -- that
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must be the north star that guides our efforts. every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation -- how do we attract more jobs to our shores? how do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? and how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living? a year and a half ago, i put forward an american jobs act that independent economists said would create more than one million new jobs. i thank the last congress for passing some of that agenda, and i urge this congress to pass the rest. tonight, i'll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. let me repeat -- nothing i'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime.
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it's not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth. our first priority is making america a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing. after shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. caterpillar is bringing jobs back from japan. ford is bringing jobs back from mexico. after locating plants in other countries like china, intel is opening its most advanced plant right here at home. and this year, apple will start making macs in america again. there are things we can do, right now, to accelerate this trend. last year, we created our first manufacturing innovation institute in youngstown, ohio. a once-shuttered warehouse is
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now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3d printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. there's no reason this can't happen in other towns. so tonight, i'm announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs, where businesses will partner with the departments of defense and energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs. and i ask this congress to help create a network of fifteen of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is made in america. if we want to make the best products, we also have to invest in the best ideas.
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every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy. today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to alzheimer's, developing drugs to regenerate damaged organs, devising new material to make batteries ten times more powerful. now is not the time to gut these job-creating investments in science and innovation. now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the space race. and today, no area holds more promise than our investments in american energy. after years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. we produce more oil at home than
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we have in 15 years. we have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar -- with tens of thousands of good, american jobs to show for it. we produce more natural gas than ever before -- and nearly everyone's energy bill is lower because of it. and over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen. but for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. yes, it's true that no single event makes a trend.
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but the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods -- all are now more frequent and intense. we can choose to believe that superstorm sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science -- and act before it's too late. the good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. i urge this congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one john mccain and joe lieberman worked on together a few years ago.
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but if congress won't act soon to protect future generations, i will. i will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy. four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. we've begun to change that. last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in america. so let's generate even more. solar energy gets cheaper by the year -- so let's drive costs down even further. as long as countries like china keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we. in the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. that's why my administration will keep cutting red tape and
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speeding up new oil and gas permits. but i also want to work with this congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and water. indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. so tonight, i propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an energy security trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. if a non-partisan coalition of ceos and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. let's take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we've put up with for far too long. i'm also issuing a new goal for america -- let's cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and
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businesses over the next twenty years. the states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make it happen. america's energy sector is just one part of an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair. ask any ceo where they'd rather locate and hire -- a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high-speed rail and internet, high-tech schools and self-healing power grids. the ceo of siemens america -- a company that brought hundreds of new jobs to north carolina -- has said that if we upgrade our infrastructure, they'll bring even more jobs. and i know that you want these job-creating projects in your districts.
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i've seen you all at the ribbon- cuttings. tonight, i propose a "fix-it- first" program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. and to make sure taxpayers don't shoulder the whole burden, i'm also proposing a partnership to rebuild america that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most -- modern ports to move our goods, modern pipelines to withstand a storm, modern schools worthy of our children. let's prove that there is no
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better place to do business than the united states of america. and let's start right away. part of our rebuilding effort must also involve our housing sector. today, our housing market is finally healing from the collapse of 2007. home prices are rising at the fastest pace in six years, home purchases are up nearly 50 50%, and construction is expanding again. but even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, too many families with solid credit who want to buy a home are being rejected. too many families who have never missed a payment and want to refinance are being told no. that's holding our entire economy back, and we need to fix it. right now, there's a bill in this congress that would give every responsible homeowner in america the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at $3,000 a year by refinancing at today's rates.